Modern day living and stress go hand in hand. Often we take office stress home and return next day with even more. The solution to tackle it is right before us but we tend to ignore it or go for other easy options.
Exercise to reduce stress?
Exercising is one of the options that people who are stressed rarely think of. But studies have revealed that you are not only better equipped to battle stress if you exercise regularly but it also helps in keeping a check on the harm stress can do to your health.
It will not be an exaggeration to say that regular exercise is the best stress-busting technique.
The body releases endorphins, hormones that fight stress, when you exercise. Endorphins actually enter your body and have been found to enhance the way you feel at the time. You may feel elated when you have just finished working out and with this comes optimism.
At times of stress, you may want to recall how this felt because this can give you the power to overcome whatever problems that are impacting your life.
While exercising you need to give your attention to the activity and this ensure there will be less chance of other worries occupying your thoughts. You are really putting your attention on something different by exercising.
Opt for activities that you will not find boring or taxing. There is little point embarking into something that becomes a chore and gives you something else to be anxious about.
How much exercise?
Experts recommend moderate intensity exercise for a minimum of 30 minutes, most days of the week. Walking, jogging, swimming, cycling, aerobics classes and dancing are all great forms of exercise.
Walking for 30 minutes can be an easily achievable target. If this looks difficult break it into two 15 minute sessions. As you get used to the daily session you can increase the pace and time too.
Exercise not only improves health and reduces stress, it also relaxes tense muscles and helps you sleep. The benefits of aerobic exercise include an increased heart rate. High-energy activities help you feel better physically and mentally.
I know a colleague who plays a game of football with her daughter when she is stressed and claims it’s a great stress buster. Look for sport or physical activity that suits you. A game of badminton or tennis?
If you can organize a game with family and friends you get a double dose of stress relief from participating in team sports: Not only are you having fun with loved ones, but you’re also working up a sweat and releasing endorphins.
There are so many choices available to you and it is only a matter of giving it some thought and then taking the first step. It could be you prefer to be outside or indoors and so singing up for a gym might be ideal.
In terms of impact, not only will you find that stress will have less effect but you will build your confidence through regular work outs. If you look good, you tend to feel good, and confidence is an opposite feeling to one of being uneasy.
So next time you are under stress opt for some physical activity to keep fit and tackle stress.First Published: Oct 23, 2011 at 4:37 PM